Abstract

Different stages of volcanic island evolution are evident in the Cenozoic Lesser Antilles arc developed near the eastern edge of the Caribbean Plate. The early stage of seamount evolution is represented by the Kick-em-Jenny submarine volcano near the southern end of the arc. The volcanically active islands known as the Volcanic Caribbées are composed of a series of composite volcanoes and are examples of an emergent volcanic island stage. Those islands that were formerly active, known as the Limestone Caribbées, provide evidence that an erosional to submergent stage occurred in the northern part of the island arc during the Oligocene and Miocene epochs. Growth of the islands and underlying crust is dependent upon the magma production rate along the arc, which has for the last 100 ka ranged from less than 1 km3 to 40 km3. These differences in magma production and volcanic rock composition along the arc are attributed to the obliquity of plate convergence and the plate convergence rates.

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